More than half of Canadians believe a ship carrying 492 Tamil migrants that landed on B.C. shores last week should have been sent back to Sri Lanka.
This is revealed in a survey released Thursday by Angus Reid Public Opinion. The study sampled more than 1,000 Canadians. It found 63 per cent of respondents felt the ship should have been turned back before it reached Canada. Angus Reid Public Opinion Vice President Mario Canseco told Canadian TV that the findings revealed many people are mad about the decision to let the ship enter Canadian waters in the first place. A main source of irritation appears to be the idea the migrants are not entering Canada through regulated immigration channels. Another 83 per cent of respondents felt the migrants are jumping the immigration queue and should be forced to apply like other foreigners who want to come to the country.
As of Wednesday, initial detention hearings had been completed for 110 of the Sri Lankan migrants.
Survey respondents were asked what should happen to the Tamil migrants if their refugee claims were found to be legitimate, and no links were made between them and any terrorist organization, including the Tamil Tigers, who are banned in Canada. Almost half of respondents said they would still deport the ship’s crew and passengers back to Sri Lanka.